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Six Unforgettable Beaches in Southeast Asia


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Bali, Indonesia
Six Unforgettable Beaches in Southeast Asia
© Brian Michelsen

In the 15th century, blue-blooded refugees from the besieged Majapahit Empire took refuge in Bali, bringing with them the court’s artists, priests, musicians, and intellectuals. This exodus, the last gasp of a dying monarchy, left an indelible mark on Bali’s character.

Recent events notwithstanding, Bali is still a prime destination for tourists seeking cheap prices, a rich local culture, beautiful beaches (the surfing in Bali is world-class), raucous nightlife, delicious food, and free-flowing Bintang Beer – all ingredients for a fun, fun time. The Bali away from the beach is interesting, too: visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud or Taman Burung Bali Bird Park to see what we mean.

You can’t help but be affected by the island’s culture – from the intricate kecak and fire dance in Pura Luhur Uluwatu to the profusion of picturesque temples, Bali’s traditions befit its status as the last remnant of an ancient Hindu empire. The paradox of Bali – its oneness with nature and its traditions, plus its energetic tourist scene – makes the island one of Asia’s most interesting places to visit.

Bali is serviced by Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai airport, which can be reached from major Indonesian cities, as well as major transport hubs in Asia and Australia.

If you're like most visitors to Bali, you'll see it first from an airplane touching down at Ngurah Rai international airport (IATA: DPS). Ngurah Rai is reachable from Hong Kong (compare prices), Singapore (compare prices) and the US: Los Angeles (compare prices), San Francisco (compare prices), and New York (compare prices).

More About Bali

Read our Introduction to Bali to get your bearings on the island’s geography and culture. There’s a lot to see, from the tourist hotbed of South Bali to the laid-back, artist-y hills of central Bali.

Find a Bali hotel in your preferred area, then strike out on your own to explore Bali: visit a grandiose statue in the making (Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park), or have a cultural hands-on experience (New Treasure Island in Sanur)

Sometimes timing can make all the difference - try visiting Bali during Nyepi, the Balinese New Year.

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